knowledge can be divided into two different sides, shared and personal knowledge. Shared knowledge is a knowledge that is shared by group of individuals it as well is continually being contributed creating new forms of knowledge. While personal knowledge is knowledge that someone gains through the own experiences and research. Now in the natural sciences a scientist can further their personal knowledge through shared knowledge in how they can learn and further improve their experiments by learning from those who have performed similar ones. Now there are other instances such as with history. When you use primary sources, you are using personal knowledge firsthand accounts of an event.  Personal knowledge is then shared to provide collective knowledge demonstrating that through personal knowledge one can further shared knowledge and vice versa. This all leads to the question How does the interaction between shared and personal knowledge allow for human progress?

            In history, there have been instances in which an individual’s own personal knowledge has been completely rejected to preserve the current shared knowledge. Moments in history such as when martin Luther wrote his ninety-five theses Luther nailed to church door a document in which he attacked the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin. His “95 Theses,” (ap achiver). By doing this Luther brought in new two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation “only by their faith and not by their deeds”. In this instance in history personal knowledge was disregarded in favor of the conformity that shared knowledge offers in how the catholic church refused to accept this and integrate it the shared knowledge of the time thus causing more conflicts then furthering human progress in how it caused protestant reformation. Shared knowledge by not integrating history personally knowledge into it in this moment limited the progress that could have been achieved if personal knowledge would have been integrated into shared knowledge.

                        There is in events in history where shared knowledge is being shown to be quite beneficial such as with the holocaust where personal accounts of the holocaust have added to the collective knowledge we have of the event such that we now have museums specifically dedicated to teaching future generations about this tragic event in history. Allowing us a collective to understand what lead to this event and how we can avoid anything like it repeating itself. In this instance shared knowledge as a collective whole can lead to progress instead of halting it and creating more conflict.

            When one looks at the natural science experiments done by an individual has provided personal knowledge to different scientists who would then share it with the collective and it becomes shared knowledge. This same scientist who is doing his own experiment sometimes he or she has been somewhat partly influenced by previous submitted scientific knowledge. Such as Louise Pasteur who I learned about who thanks to Francesco Redi experiment in how he tested the hypothesis of spontaneous generation with a jar which he left completely empty and discovered later on that when he opened it  flies enter and that’s when maggots starting growing, and disproved the idea of spontaneous regeneration which would lead to Louis Pasteur discovering about microcobes which allowed him come up with the process of pasteurization, where bacteria are destroyed by heating beverages  thanks to Redi’s disapproving spontaneous cell generation and his contribution on how cell really form that led to Pasteur to further develop his owns personal knowledge contributing to shared knowledge furthering progress in the area. Shared knowledge helps to further develop personal knowledge which in return goes back into shared knowledge.

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There have been moments in science if one looks back were shared knowledge has been proven detrimental to further progress. Pythagoras the Greek philosopher and mathematician who had the idea that “all workings of the material universe are expressible in terms of mathematics” (Magee). Pythagoras as well was believed to have discovered that world was not flat but round. Since the shared knowledge that was had now was that the earth was flat and that if you went far you fall of. Pythagoras own personal knowledge was completely disregarded by the whole as they feared that you would fall of the earth. In the disregard for Pythagoras idea of the earth being round progress was completely halted as no one would travel and explore due to believe that you would fall of the earth. It wasn’t until the 1492 when Christopher Columbus sailed around the globe that people finally abandoned this collective idea of the earth being flat.

In looking at example of history and natural sciences it’s easy to say that although shared knowledge can sometimes halt progress it ultimately allows individuals to be able share and ultimately further ideas that have already been presented for further human progress allowing the collective whole of humanity to get better understanding of the world around us.    


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